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What A Life Coach Is and Isn’t

by Richard Bailey 9 days ago in advice
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Looking For A Life Coach? Here's What You Need To Know

So you’re thinking about looking for, or are already looking for, a life coach. But how do you know what to look for? How do you know if the person you choose is going to effectively help you or is just going to tell you what they think, or what they think you want to hear to keep you coming back to them? When you keep going back to your life coach all this does is create a dependency and put more of your money in their pockets.

In this post, I am going to talk about what you should be looking for in a life coach and why. Hiring a life coach to help you accomplish whatever it is you are looking to improve in your life is a big decision. There are a lot of people out there who offer services as a life coach but not all of them are there to actually help you, some are there to fill their pockets with your money.

Let’s go over some things that a life coach isn’t/doesn’t do

A life coach isn’t there to give you advice or to tell you what to do. The reason for this is simple but also easily overlooked. Advice is more often than not subjective. When advice is given it is given based on what that person themselves would do, not necessarily what you should do. This is often formulated from past experiences, biases, and upbringing. Just because someone would do something one way, doesn’t mean that is the right way or the way other people should do things.

You need to be responsible for your decisions and actions. This is because taking responsibility and making decisions for yourself will help with a sense of empowerment. The more empowered we feel the more we can grow and develop as a person. By always supplying the answers and giving advice the life coach does not allow the person to engage their own mind and work things out for themselves. This also creates a dependency on the coach whenever a decision needs to be made. The idea is that the person feels confident in their ability to make their own decisions and that the decisions they make are the right decisions at the time.

A life coach shouldn’t be teaching or lecturing their client. The word “Guru” gets thrown around quite a bit. In reality, there is no real guru. Everyone is different and unique in their own way, and although many people do follow some of the same principles as others there will always be slight differences and differences in the way people do things. No one person has all the answers, there will always be things that a person doesn’t know or understand. If your life coach is giving you insights, ideas, or suggestions, this should only be done when you as the client have asked for them to do so.

A life coach is not a counselor or a therapist. The role of your life coach is not to fix you or heal you. A good life coach will take the assumption that no one is broken and that no one needs to be fixed. Most people will look at life and situations through the lens of their perceived reality and not see the reality for what it really is. Everyone is different.

That covers some main points of what a life coach isn’t and what you shouldn’t be looking for in a life coach. At this point, I would imagine you might be asking yourself “Well then why would anyone seek out a life coach? What are they going to do for me?”

So let’s go over what a good life coach is

A life coach is there to offer their clients a different set of eyes, looking at their lives from an objective perspective and trying to ask the questions that the client most likely isn’t asking themselves. Sometimes a simple question allows a person to see something in a way they haven’t yet, and gain more insight into themselves and the current situation. This can help with self-growth and realization.

In the first session with a life coach, a specific goal should be established. There should be an understanding between the coach and client that this goal is something that is tangible, achievable, and realistic. The coach should be helping the client to focus on what they DO want not what they DON’T want. As I mentioned earlier you are not broken and there is nothing to fix. Focusing on what you don’t want assumes that something is broken.

A good life coach should also be trying to establish what the reality is for the client as the client sees it. This will include their perception of their reality, and help to give voice to how the client is currently looking at their reality. This is helpful for the coach in understanding the client better, along with their beliefs, biases, and different perceptions. When you as the client are describing your current reality, a good life coach should be able to try and sift through your perceived reality and start to see your reality without the distortions of the client’s perceived reality.

A life coach should be identifying what options are available with the client. What are the best possible options for the client in the goal they want to accomplish? Through discussion, a life coach can sometimes help a person to see options available to them they didn’t see before. A good life coach will help their client to feel empowered to see the options that are available to them.

Your life coach should help you to identify what action steps you should make next. This is done once the possible options have been identified. From there you and your coach can identify what action steps you are going to take next in order to start your journey to accomplishing your goal. This isn’t done by your life coach telling you what action steps to take next. This is something that you as the client should decide upon with what you feel is right and you feel comfortable doing as well as confident that you can take that action step.

Your life coach will most likely have you envision what the outcome of accomplishing your goal will look like to you. You won’t need to tell them but they should be asking you to at least see this goal accomplished in your own mind, what it looks like to you, how it makes you feel, and how it will change your life and/or current situation. Everyone knows, on a deeper level, what they want. One of the biggest barriers to getting there is a lack of self-confidence and the belief that they can’t achieve what they want.

Every life coach will have a different approach and different methods. Good life coaches, however, are ones that help you to feel empowered and confident in your decisions. They don’t create a dependency of the client always coming to them for answers. The life coach will help them to see things in a different way and usually by just asking simple questions allow the person to make the decisions they think and feel are right at the current moment in time and achieve the goals they want to achieve.

If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please consider sharing it on your social media.

This post was originally posted on my Medium Blog, What A Life Coach Is and Isn’t, my Medium Profile direct link.


About the author

Richard Bailey

Interests include health and wellness, gaming, game dev, writing and reading.

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